Primary School 6/13
so many election results
Outside $ Watch
$210K in digital ads and $8K of texts for Delia Ramirez from the Working Families Party. Total WFP spending: $238K
$95K of TV ads for Gilbert Villegas from VoteVets. Total VV spending: $523K
$33K of mailers attacking Delia Ramirez from DMFI PAC. This is the first spending against Ramirez that we’ve seen from DMFI. Total DMFI spending: $33K
$32K of mailers supporting Delia Ramirez from Women Vote! (EMILY’s List). Total WV! spending: $163K
$2,500 of call time for Delia Ramirez from People’s Action Power. People’s Action, a successor to Nation People’s Action, is a progressive advocacy group based in Chicago that often partners with unions for political work. This PAC is mostly funded by the SEIU, who have endorsed Ramirez. Total PAP spending: $2,500
$41K of mailers supporting Sean Casten and opposing Marie Newman from DMFI. Total DMFI spending: $505K
$120K of TV ads supporting Kina Collins and opposing Danny Davis from Justice Democrats PAC. The ad talks about rising crime and inflation, and says Davis keeps missing votes despite those pressing issues, but Kina Collins will be more involved in Congress. Total JD spending: $120K
$263K of TV ads for Nikki Budzinski from Protect Our Future PAC. This race seemed uncompetitive from the beginning, but it’s not like Sam Bankman-Fried’s been too discerning about where to turn his firehose of money on in the past. Total POF spending: $263K
$1,500 of signs supporting Litesa Wallace from Indivisible Action. Total Indivisible spending: $1,500
$22K of mailers for Dina Titus from Opportunity for All Action Fund. Total OFAAF spending: $244K
$13K of campaign lit for Dina Titus from Workers Vote. Total WV spending: $14.6K
Results in California are incomplete thanks to the state’s slow vote counting, but we’ll update you in our next issue if any leads change or unclear races get settled definitively.
CA-13: Conservative Democratic Assemb. Adam Gray and a Republican advance to November.
CA-15: Kevin Mullin is in first place with 40% of the vote; David Canepa takes the other runoff spot with about 25%.
CA-16: Anna Eshoo is headed for a rematch with fellow Dem Rishi Kumar.
CA-21: Blue Dog Rep. Jim Costa and a Republican advance to November.
CA-29: Rep. Tony Cárdenas leads progressive Angelica Dueñas roughly 57-19, similar to the first round of the 2020 election, which also ended in a Cárdenas-Dueñas November election. Dueñas got 43% in November 2020.
CA-30: In a pleasant surprise, Republicans who want to vote against Adam Schiff will now have to vote for a leftist nonbinary drag queen in November. Democratic challenger Maebe A. Girl, a neighborhood councilor, activist, and drag queen, pulled ahead of Republican Ronda Kennedy with the first batch of late mail ballots; we expect Maebe A. Girl to put more distance between herself and Kennedy as late ballots are counted.
CA-32: Rep. Brad Sherman and a Republican advance to November, ending the campaigns of progressive Shervin Aazami and cryptocurrency enthusiast Aarika Rhodes.
CA-34: Rep. Jimmy Gomez leads progressive David Kim 52-36; in November 2020 Gomez beat Kim 53-47.
CA-37: Sydney Kamlager has a wide lead, and Jan Perry appears to have the second runoff spot, but Daniel Lee isn’t far behind.
CA-42: Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and a Republican advance to November
CA-46: Democratic socialist Mike Ortega is currently in fourth place behind two Republicans, almost certainly missing the runoff with Blue Dog Rep. Lou Correa, though there is still a very slim chance late ballots push Ortega past both Republicans.
CA-50: Scott Peters will face a Republican, not progressive Kylie Taitano, in November; Peters’s heavy spending ahead of the primary appears to have been an excess of caution rather than genuine concern.
CA statewides: Steve Glazer’s run for state controller was a miserable failure, and that’s beautiful. Normal Democrat Malia Cohen, who represents coastal California on the state Board of Equalization, appeared to us to be the San Francisco regional candidate, but she ended up outpacing Southern California’s regional candidate, LA City Controller Ron Galperin, even in Southern California. Republican Lanhee Chen, who counts many prominent Republican politicians among his previous bosses, will lose to Cohen in November after spending ungodly amounts of money donated to him by Republican donors deluded enough to think they can win California. In the Insurance Commissioner race, Assemb. Marc Levine is currently in third place, but late ballots should push him ahead of the top Republican and into second place; a November general election between Levine and embattled incumbent Ricardo Lara is likely.
CA State Board of Equalization: Bush-era progressive and DSA member Sally Lieber left the state Assembly in 2008, and has been trying to get back in elected office ever since. She finally succeeded, and in spectacular fashion. Lieber has a majority of the first-round vote in coastal California’s Board of Equalization District 2, with moderate Democrat Michela Alioto-Pier back in third place behind the lone Republican candidate. The Board of Equalization doesn’t really…do much, but it does set members up for bids for higher office, and Lieber is now the Democratic nominee in a district stretching from the Oregon border to Ventura County that Democrats simply can’t lose in normal circumstances. In District 4—which, mind you, only flipped to Democrats in 2018—garbage incumbent Democrat Mike Schaefer and normal Democrat David Dodson placed first and second, locking Republicans out of the general election.
CA Senate: In an all-Democratic race to represent Sacramento’s SD-08 in the state Senate, moderate city councilwoman Angelique Ashby and progressive former state insurance commissioner Dave Jones advanced to a runoff, with Jones currently outpacing Ashby 47-42. In SD-10, moderate Fremont Mayor Lily Mei and progressive Hayward city councilmember Aisha Wahab advanced to November. In SD-20, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s son Daniel Hertzberg, the moderate establishment choice, is headed to November, but progressive Caroline Menjivar is poised to overtake the race’s lone Republican when late ballots are counted. In SD-28, frontrunner Lola Smallwood-Cuevas and repeat candidate Cheryl Turner advanced to November, and in SD-30, state Sen. Bob Archuleta was lucky enough to draw a Republican opponent rather than either of his Democratic challengers. Finally, in SD-38, Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear easily defeated hardcore moderate Joe Kerr for the Democratic spot in the November runoff, where Blakespear is a favorite to win this Biden+16 district. But the biggest result of the night in the state Senate was none of the races we actually previewed—it was in a Trump-voting swing district stretching from Modesto to Lake Tahoe. In SD-04, two Democrats and six Republicans were on the ballot, but the Republican vote was so badly splintered that the second-place Democrat, Marie Alvarado-Gil, got more votes than any individual Republican candidate, setting up an all-Dem runoff in a district Democrats have no business winning in a Biden midterm. Alvarado-Gil and the other Democratic candidate, union organizer Tim Robertson, now get to duke it out without any worry of a Republican victory, and Democrats’ supermajority in the California State Senate will be padded by SD-04 at least until Republicans can muster up the signatures for a recall election.
CA Assembly: In the Assembly, every Democratic incumbent running for reelection placed first and advanced to November. That’s mostly in line with expectations—but not in AD-24, where democratic socialist Assemb. Alex Lee was thought to be in the fight of his life against a trio of serious opponents, but instead he got a commanding plurality of the first-round vote. The race’s lone Republican finished second, so Lee will win another term. And in AD-52, Wendy Carrillo’s 51-35 lead over progressive challenger Mia Livas Porter is low enough that Carrillo should be pretty worried about November. In open seats, the results were a mixed bag. In Sacramento’s AD-10, establishment Democrat Eric Guerra and conservative Democrat Stephanie Nguyen advanced, with Nguyen leading Guerra 33-28 as of this writing. In Marin County, progressive Sara Aminzadeh and ultra-NIMBY Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly advanced to November as expected in AD-12. Progressive favorites Jennifer Esteen and James Coleman got shut out of the runoffs in AD-20 and AD-21, respectively; in AD-20, labor favorite Liz Ortega and centrist Shawn Kumagai will face off in November, while in AD-21, a Republican is in second place behind moderate Democrat Diane Papan, assuring her victory in November. In Fresno’s AD-27, conservative Democrat Mike Karbassi did quite poorly, getting less than 10% of the vote and finishing in dead last, behind both Republicans and progressive Fresno city councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, who challenged Blue Dog Rep. Jim Costa in 2020 and now has a clear path to Sacramento. In AD-28, Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin got lucky; the lone Republican in the race managed to outpace Los Gatos Mayor Rob Rennie, a Democrat who was running to Pellerin’s right, setting up a D-vs-R general election Pellerin is all but assured to win. In AD-30, Morro Bay Councilmember Dawn Addis led the field with 44% of the vote, trailed by the race’s lone Republican at 33%; Addis should win easily in November. In Bakersfield’s AD-35, awful conservative Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez only leads her opponent, Dr. Jasmeet Bains, 57-43—but Bains is the choice of police unions, so it’s not exactly clear she’s much better than Perez. Regardless, as the only two candidates, both are headed to November. Frontrunner Rick Chavez Zbur led underdog Louis Abramson in AD-51 by a wide margin, as expected, but this was another beauty pageant primary—Chavez Zbur and Abramson were the only two candidates, so this is going to be decided in November anyway. Corey Jackson, the chair of the California Democratic Party’s Black Caucus, beat labor favorite Esther Portillo and moderate local school board member Jasmin Rubio for the Democratic runoff spot in AD-60, a blue seat in Riverside County. In AD-61, progressive Tina McKinnor trails moderate Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles 38-30—but she leads him 51.6-48.4 in the concurrent special election to serve out the rest of the term in the current AD-62, which mostly corresponds to the new AD-61. Police union favorite Blanca Pacheco was the only Democrat to advance in AD-64, unfortunately for progressive opponent Elizabeth Alcantar. Retiring Assemb. Tom Daly’s chief of staff Avelino Valencia almost got a majority of the first-round vote, with progressive Bulmaro “Boomer” Vicente far behind. And finally in AD-80, voters did the same thing as in AD-61/62: San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez won the special election to fill this seat 56-44 overfellow San Diego City Councilmember and former congressional candidate Georgette Gómez, but Alvarez trails Gómez 35-32 in the first round of the regular election.
LA County Sheriff: Incumbent Alex Villanueva, who ran as the reform alternative to the incumbent in 2018 and then immediately proved to be just as bad, if not worse, placed first with less than a third of a vote. Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, who isn’t much of a reformer but also isn’t Villanueva, will face him in November.
LA County Supervisor District 3: Moderate state Sen. Bob Hertzberg and progressive West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath advanced to November, a disappointing result for sorta-progressive-sorta-crappy state Sen. Henry Stern (which we welcome, because Horvath advances.)
Los Angeles Mayor: Rick Caruso and Karen Bass advance to a runoff; late ballots are breaking for Bass, so it’s not clear whether Caruso’s narrow lead over Bass will hold when all the ballots are counted. (For our part, we expect Bass to overtake Caruso.)
LA City Attorney: It’s still unclear who will make the runoff in a race that ended up being almost a four-way tie. Progressive and ex-Republican Faisal Gill will certainly advance, as late ballots are unsurprisingly favorable to him, but whether tough-on-crime Democrat Marina Torres or slightly-less-tough-on-crime Democrat Hydee Feldstein Soto will advance isn’t clear; Torres currently leads Feldstein Soto, but Feldstein Soto has been doing better in late ballots and won’t need much to overtake Torres.
LA City Controller: Leftist Kenneth Mejia’s scrappy upstart campaign blew us all away on election night, and he’s only improving as late ballots are counted. We were pretty sure he’d advance to November as the left favorite and LA Times-endorsed candidate, but we weren’t expecting him to outpace his main opponent, City Councilmember Paul Koretz, by double digits—Mejia is currently just shy of 39% of the vote and could clear 40% when all votes are counted, while Koretz is just below 25% despite Koretz carrying the near-unanimous support of the city’s political class and financial elite. Mejia, an ex-Green housing activist, has been running an unusual, gimmicky campaign aiming to make city government transparent to the public before he even wins, with billboards and online applications doing things like demystifying the city budget process, explaining the LAPD’s oversized share of the city budget, and mapping traffic stops to show racial and socioeconomic disparities in who gets stopped. We don’t call his campaign gimmicky as a knock on them or anything—it’s clearly working, and it’s a refreshing approach.
LA City Council: Most city council races are either decided or set for a November runoff by now. In Council District 5, sorta-progressive Katy Young Yaroslavsky and conservative Sam Yebri are likely headed to a runoff; Young Yaroslavsky has 48.84% of the vote and could plausibly clear the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff. In Council District 11, progressive Erin Darling is in first with 32% while conservative Traci Park is close behind with 31%, though we expect Darling’s lead to grow somewhat; Darling and Park will face off in November. In Council District 13, DSA-endorsed labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martínez actually got more votes than conservative incumbent Mitch O’Farrell; the two will advance to a runoff, but O’Farrell is in serious trouble. In Council District 15, establishment choice and police union lobbyist Tim McOsker will face neighborhood councilor and former union president Danielle Sandoval, who is running to his left; McOsker currently has 39% to Sandoval’s 29%. One council race remains truly undecided, however: Council District 1, the head-to-head race between incumbent Gil Cedillo and DSA-backed activist Eunisses Hernandez. Since there are only two candidates, one of them will win outright—and Cedillo leads Hernandez 52-48 at the moment, but Hernandez is winning late ballots by enough to reverse that deficit and narrowly oust Cedillo if late ballots continue to lean left, as they usually do.
Sheriffs and DAs: as expected, progressive San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin was recalled after months of breathless, misleading press coverage raising alarm over a crime wave that didn’t really exist in data, only anecdotes and vibes. The margin continues to narrow as late ballots are counted; Boudin will end up losing by single digits. Across the bay in Alameda County, progressive DA candidate Pamela Price was way out in front with 40% of the vote; her most conservative opponent, Terry Wiley, took 29% and will face her in November. Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern, an extreme conservative and Democrat in name only, was defeated outright; rather than forcing a runoff by keeping Ahern below 50%, Democratic Party-endorsed challenger Yesenia Sanchez took a very slim majority of the vote. Progressive Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton and conservative, deadly-jail-overseeing Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston have butted heads over Becton’s decision to prosecute a sheriff’s deputy for a deadly on-duty shooting; both won reelection by clearing 50%, because voters contain multitudes. Conservative Thien Ho defeated more progressive opponent Alana Mathews in the Sacramento County DA race by a wide margin. Undersheriff and status quo candidate Kelly Martinez will advance to November in the San Diego County Sheriff race; Republican John Hemmerling will probably take the second spot, unfortunately for Democratic-backed candidate Dave Myers, who wants to reduce deaths at the county jail and who would need a very good performance with late ballots to overtake Hemmerling. Traditional tough-on-crime Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen won a majority in the face of challengers to both his left and his right, while police union candidate Kevin Jensen and, to our surprise, Palo Alto candidate Bob Jonsen advanced to November in the Santa Clara County Sheriff race.
Iowa: Progressive Izaah Knox won the open SD-17 and will be the only Black member of the Iowa Senate. Moderate state Rep. Molly Donahue barely held off progressive Austin Frerick in the primary for SD-37, while state Rep. Liz Bennett easily defeated union president Joseph Zahorik in SD-39. Dr. Megan Srinivas defeated perennial candidate and rich weirdo Eddie Mauro nearly 2 to 1 in HD-30; business owner and doctor Austin Baeth won HD-37 with 49%, with progressive Jaylen Cavil in a distant second in a very crowded field; and moderate Adam Zabner beat progressive Andrew Dunn 43-37 in HD-90.
Montana: SD-50’s appointed state Sen. Tom Steenberg got blown out of the water by state Rep. Andrea Olsen in a race that seemed very low-stakes; if nothing else, it’s a reminder that incumbency obtained through appointment rather than election is rarely worth much at the polls. In HD-100, Montana made history: progressive favorite Zooey Zephyr won the primary for this deep-blue Missoula district with over 60% of the vote, all but guaranteeing she will be Montana’s first openly transgender state legislator.
NJ-08: Professional failson Rob Menendez Jr. easily won the open seat once held by his father, Sen. Bob Menendez, instantly becoming the most egregious nepotism case in Congress.
NJ-10: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. easily defeated progressive challenger Imani Oakley, who was well-funded but managed to anger enough New Jersey progressive groups that some went so far as to endorse Payne.
New Mexico statewides: In the AG race, where both candidates ran to the right, Bernalillo County DA Raúl Torrez emerged victorious over state Auditor Brian Colón. Moderate former Sandoval County Treasurer Laura Montoya defeated her more progressive opponent Heather Benavidez in the Treasurer race, and Public Regulation Commissioner Joseph Maestas defeated Young Democrats of New Mexico President Zackary Quintero in a race where both candidates seemed basically fine.
New Mexico Legislature: Despite a slew of well-funded challenges backed by state Rep. and House Budget Chair Patricia Lundstrom, an ambitious conservative Democrat who really wants to be the speaker of the state House, all but one incumbent appears to have held on. The exception was progressive state Rep. Roger Montoya, who was defeated by former state Rep. Joe Sanchez after an extraordinarily disgusting and homophobic campaign against Montoya. Fuck that guy. Open races were also a mixed bag: conservative Democrat Cynthia Borrego won HD-16, but progressive Janelle Anyanonu defeated fellow progressive Colton Dean in HD-19 (there was no moderate or conservative running) and progressive former state Rep. Eleanor Chavez easily won the primary to take back her old seat, beating moderate Cherise Quezada 2 to 1.
South Dakota: Amendment C, the underhanded Republican attempt to make it harder for a Medicaid expansion referendum to pass this fall, failed miserably, garnering less than a third of the vote. In HD-26A, which covers the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, ambulance operator Eric Emery won 56-44 over 2018 Secretary of State nominee Alexandra Frederick.
We have an explanation for the National Education Association’s endorsement of progressive challenger Sergio Alcubilla over Blue Dog Rep. Ed Case: the NEA was following the lead of its Hawai’i state-level affiliate, the Hawai’i State Teachers Association. The HSTA had a habit of endorsing Tulsi Gabbard’s long-shot primary challengers, so they’re not always afraid to cross incumbents they can’t stand—and Case, as the HSTA makes clear in their endorsement, deserves the Gabbard treatment for his role in sabotaging Build Back Better and his co-chairmanship of the Blue Dog Coalition.
Filing has closed for this seat, and there were no surprises—this campaign is going to be a showdown between state Sen. Jill Tokuda (who was endorsed by EMILY’s List once it was clear she was the only woman with a chance in the race) and state Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco. A few other candidates did file, the most notable being nonprofit director Brendan Schultz, who’s running as a progressive (as opposed to Tokuda’s policy-averse campaign and Branco’s cryptocurrency-fanatic centrism.)
IL-01, IL-03, NV-01
Bernie Sanders endorsed three congressional candidates this week: Jonathan Jackson in IL-01, state Rep. Delia Ramirez in IL-03, and Amy Vilela in NV-01, respectively. Amy Vilela is the only one of the three challenging an incumbent, a type of race Sanders has generally been hesitant to make an endorsement in, but she played an important role in his presidential campaigns; Sanders has usually endorsed his high-profile supporters/staffers when they run for office. Delia Ramirez is close to a no-brainer as a left-wing candidate running against an establishment moderate in a district Sanders did well in. Jackson is the biggest surprise of the bunch. While Sanders and Jackson’s father are somewhat close, there’s no indication Sanders knows Jonathan. It may be the early stages of national consolidation around one progressive candidate to avoid a moderate like Pat Dowell winning, despite the candidacy of state Sen. Jacqui Collins, who has support from some of the local progressive political class.
IL-01, IL-03, IL-06, IL-07, IL-08
The Chicago Tribune made its congressional endorsements this morning. The paper, which is known for its moderate-to-conservative bent, made plenty of expected choices. In IL-01, they picked incumbent Bobby Rush’s anointed successor Karin Norington-Reaves. In IL-03 they went with moderate choice Gilbert Villegas because he can “connect with this district’s progressives, moderates and suburban Republicans”, the last group of which has no relevance in this district but clearly does on the editorial board. IL-08 was also a no-brainer; of course they were going with incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi. In IL-06, they were clear in their preference for Sean Casten over Marie Newman because of her progressive views (and her belief in “throwing money” at problems, because apparently the solution to poverty is non-monetary). They’ve always hated Newman, to the point of being big on Lipinski in 2020 because she was the alternative. All that makes for the biggest surprise of the batch: they endorsed Kina Collins against incumbent Danny Davis. It’s surprising that they’re supporting a progressive challenger, and doubly so after they supported him in 2020, even though Collins also ran that year. For their reasoning, they downplay the ideological angle and give a “new blood” reasoning.
State Sen. Randolph Bracy, quite clearly worried about facing down the massive financial advantage of gun control activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost, wants donors to know that he’s still worth it. Consequently, he’s broken out the most reliable way to do so: an favorable internal poll. It shows him at 29%, Frost at 9%, Natalie Jackson at 5%, and Terence Gray at 2%. Bracy’s poll does show him in good position at the moment, but it also does a very good job of showing why he put it out: that lead’s going to evaporate once Frost gets on the air, unless Bracy has some backup.
Airline pilot Curtis Calabrese has ended his campaign for Congress after finding out that he wasn’t eligible to run for office as a Democrat because he was registered as a Republican until two weeks prior to filing to run.
A federal court struck down Louisiana’s congressional map for not having a second Black-majority district; if the ruling stands—which at this point means whether or not the Supreme Court decides to block it—a new Democratic district would be created, likely by transforming Republican Rep. Garret Graves’s LA-06 into a Black-majority district based in Baton Rouge. While a large number of Baton Rouge politicians could (and likely would) run for this new seat, one stands out to us: Gary Chambers, who very narrowly missed the 2021 runoff in the LA-02 special election. He’s currently running a quixotic campaign for US Senate and is favored for the nomination, but could easily switch races if he wants to.
MA-Gov, LG, AG, Auditor, Secretary of State
Massachusetts Democrats held their nominating convention this week. Like many states whose party holds these, the purpose of the convention is twofold: candidates who earn majority support along the delegates are granted the party's official endorsement, while candidates with less support but who still reach 15% are guaranteed a spot on the primary ballot. Candidates who fail to meet that threshold are still allowed to attempt to make it to the ballot by circulating signature petitions, but generally a candidate who fails at the convention will just end their campaign.
Maura Healey, as expected, won the party endorsement over state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, though the 71% to 29% margin was another bad sign for Chang-Díaz's already struggling campaign. She was blown out everywhere outside of Boston. The LG results were disappointing, but clarifying. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll received the endorsement with only 41% after second-place finisher state Rep. Tami Gouveia, who took 23%, opted not to push it to a runoff. State Sen. Eric Lesser's 21% got him a spot on the ballot, but state Sen. Adam Hinds and businessman Bret Bero both fell short.
A bright spot for progressives came in the Auditor's race, where Chris Dempsey narrowly snatched the endorsement 53% to 47% over conservative state Rep. Diana DiZiglio. It was also nice to see progressive challenger Tanisha Sullivan outpace incumbent Secretary of State (no, we will never acknowledge "Commonwealth" in state office titles) William Galvin 62% to 38%. The results in the AG race were mixed. While 2018 LG nominee Quentin Palfrey narrowly emerged the endorsee after runoff with ex-Boston City Councilor and charter school fan Andrea Campbell, that was after she narrowly won the first round, where labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan also took 22%, meaning both Palfrey and Liss-Riordan will be on the ballot, potentially splitting the progressive vote.
Former PG County Executive Rushern Baker has dropped out of the gubernatorial race. He started out this campaign with the name recognition he’d earned in 2018, polling as a top contender. But he failed to raise much money, watched his supporters from last campaign back other candidates, and eventually fell to 4th place in a three-person race. Now, he’s out of the race. Honestly, good on him for realizing he needed to get out. A Baker-less race is great news for Wes Moore, who has become the PG establishment choice, and it’s bad news for Peter Franchot, who has struggled to grow his base of older white voters, and has the best chance in a more fractured field.
Speaking of fractured fields, the first independent poll of this race, sponsored by the Baltimore Sun, has been conducted, and it’s just as scattered as all the internals have shown. Peter Franchot in first at 20%, Wes Moore in second at 15%, Tom Perez at 12%, Rushern Baker at 7%, and Doug Gansler and John B. King tied at 4%. This poll confirms that Wes Moore is still behind Franchot, while Perez is finally gaining momentum. Perez, in addition to his own campaign starting in earnest, is now getting help from the SEIU, which is airing ads for Perez. The first, and so far, only ad they’re running is mostly to tout his endorsement from the Washington Post.
Peter Franchot is also hoping to get his name out there without using his campaign, though instead of the help of a union, Franchot is using the Comptroller office to promote himself. Specifically, he’s taking the yearly promotional newspaper advertising for the state’s unclaimed property sale, and using it as a promotion for Franchot, the man. While it’s not unusual for politicians to make sure to include their name on materials distributed from their offices, this ad, ostensibly for a property sale, mostly consists of a photo of Franchot, smiling, with the text “Like a good neighbor, Franchot is there.” It is blatant, as is his hilariously bullshit explanation for the stunt: “We are unapologetic about the fact that we, more than any other state, seek to reunite people with their unclaimed property.”
Maryland AFSCME unveiled their list of endorsements in the upcoming primary this week, and, to our surprise, it included Donna Edwards. While Edwards has a strong relationship with organized labor and has so far been the choice of every union weighing in in this race, AFSCME is the most moderate major union in Maryland politics. It’s not just a pro-incumbency bias; they will sometimes endorse against an incumbent if the local establishment prefers their opponent.
State Sen, Steve Roberts put out an internal poll showing him trailing Cori Bush badly, 36% to 18%. It’s embarrassing but sometimes helpful to put out an internal poll showing yourself losing—demonstrating a race is winnable is a necessary step for most candidates looking for outside help. The actual polling memo, however, seemingly goes out of its way to argue that no, actually, Roberts is in as bad a position as the toplines suggest. The memo summary states that a majority of voters have a favorable opinion of Cori Bush, that “6 in 10” voters know who Roberts is (meaning name recognition isn’t Roberts’s main problem), and that “among voters who know both candidates, Bush’s lead drops to near single digits” (which is to say double digits, ie 10+%). Surely the campaign could have told the pollster what results should and shouldn’t be in the summary memo, right?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Alessandra Biaggi against DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney. Ocasio-Cortez is sparing with her endorsements against incumbents in the House. For her to make this endorsement, and do so a week after Biaggi switched districts after months of campaigning in NY-03, means she’s angry about Maloney’s district move, and, likely, that she thinks Biaggi could win. Maloney clearly does not want Biaggi to turn into a cause célèbre for progressives nationally. He showed Business Insider an internal poll with him blowing Biaggi out of the water, 45-15. Incredibly, he also volunteered the information that 76% of the district was unfamiliar with Biaggi. Hey Sean—if you’re trying to discourage potential Biaggi supporters, you’re supposed to leave off the detail where the unimpressive 15% your opponent gets constitutes a majority of all voters who know who she is. It may be too late to hold off New York progressives getting invested in this one, though: the Working Families Party endorsed Biaggi this morning.
File this away for 2024: The Assembly maps have finally been thrown out by the state courts, with a redraw ordered before the 2024 elections, following the same special master process as before. The Assembly maps weren’t included in the initial lawsuit that eventually got the Senate and Congressional maps tossed out, seemingly because the new Assembly maps wasn’t ending a GOP gerrymander like the Senate and Congressional maps were, so the GOP was less angry about them and didn’t think to include them in the lawsuit. This won’t affect the 2022 elections, as it was already ruled it was too late to change anything, as the initial lawsuit was decided at basically the last second feasible.